Book Title: Finding Evan
by: Lisa Swallow
Series: Butterfly Days #2
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 15th 2014
“She killed a part of me – the part which trusts when someone tells you they love you, and allows you to trust that person with your heart.”
Ness and Evan return to Leeds from Europe, and begin their new life together. But the past Evan has buried for years resurfaces and threatens their future.
After fifteen years, Evan doesn’t want any contact with the woman who abandoned him, but is unwillingly pulled into his mother’s life by Lucy.
Feeling pushed aside by Ness’s focus on her studies and new friends, Evan can’t confide in Ness about what’s happening. This return to his old behavior adds more distance to their relationship. When Ness’s new friend Ollie picks up the pieces because Evan is away, Evan’s insecurities threaten their relationship further.
Ness becomes aware of Evan’s situation, and she questions whether he will ever be able to break his ties to those dragging him down. If he can’t put himself first, and live the life he wants, she is unable to see how their relationship could work. In return, Evan struggles with Ness’s inability to get close to people, and her distance pushes him further away.
The decision about the future of the relationship is taken out of their hands - by something that could end things between Ness and Evan forever…
Shifting around on the white sand, I lie back against Evan as he rests against the cooler we've dug into the sand. The picnic finished, we settle to watch the sun set over the Mediterranean for the last time, drinking local wine from plastic cups. The calm water lapping the shore nearby is the only sound around us. Peace and serenity – like so much of our life recently.
“I wish we could stay forever,” whispers Evan, “just me and you.”
I rub my head against his shoulder. “Real life has to catch up.”
All this time, living and breathing each other, time passed so quickly. Evan’s laid-back nature tempered my occasionally uptight reactions, and we met in the middle. We’ve learned to talk about the past and the future. A safe place to explore who we are underneath, without any intrusion from the real world. Over the last couple of days, a nagging fear about what happens when we return to our old lives has crept in. And I’ve pushed the doubt away, refusing to spoil this Ness and Evan.
“I’m going to miss this,” he says, stroking my arm with his fingertips.
I wriggle against the ticklish feeling. “This?”
“You. Practically naked half the time. I don’t have to fantasise about you with no clothes on when we’re here.” Evan’s hands shift to my waist and he pulls me closer. I take his arms and wrap them around me, running my hands along his toned arms before turning my head and kissing the curve of muscle on his bicep.
“I think I’d get some odd looks walking around Leeds in a bikini.”
Evan nudges his nose into the hollow of my neck. “Don’t talk about Leeds.”
Pulling away, I turn around and climb onto his lap, straddling him. I smooth Evan’s brown fringe from his eyes. His hair has grown and touches his ears again, softening his features – or maybe that’s from the freedom of the last few weeks. Evan tans easily, and I can't help finding the golden tint to his taut muscles even sexier.
Evan’s brown eyes shine as he gives me the smile that irritated me so much when we first knew each other. It irritated me because that smile was part of what made him difficult to resist – and the Evan I met at the beginning needed to be resisted.
“Don’t try that with me,” I say, pulling a stern face.
“That ‘come to bed’ smile you use on all the girls.”
Evan’s too-sexy smile becomes a grin. “Only on you. And I’m not trying to get you into bed.”
“No.” He reaches behind me and pulls on the string of my bikini.
I grab his hand. “Evan!”
“Come on, it’s getting dark. There’s no one around.” Evan lowers his voice and moves his face closer, placing the softest of kisses on my lips and leaving the suggestion of what could follow when he pulls away again.
The evening darkens rapidly as the sun sets behind the horizon. We’ve come here every day this week, walking along the beach in the evenings, and rarely see anyone else. Evan nips my shoulder, and then kisses my collarbone, following up with a trail of kisses to the top of my breasts. Without saying anything else, Evan pushes the flimsy material out of the way and cups my breast with his hand. Circling my nipple with his thumb, he gazes up at me, an eyebrow raised in challenge.
Heat floods to my face, and a gasp I try to stop escapes my mouth. Apparently, this is all Evan needs, because he places both hands on my waist and pulls me towards him, replacing his thumb with his mouth. I grasp Evan’s hair and hold his face against me; the intensity of his mouth fills my body with desire and pushes logic from my mind.
*****5-Poetry Boy? I'll be your butterfly girl-Stars*****
~this review contains minor spoilers~
Life with Ness is great, and Lucy is fading into the background. Mostly. I'm moving on; now I have Ness, the beautiful girl whose heart loved me at my worst, and whose arms held me at my weakest.
Evan & Vanessa have returned for another round of angst fueled drama and miss-communication, only this time we're throwing a boatload of jealousy and insecurities into the mix as well. Get ready for another tear-filled ride of snark, laughs, and sexiness. Angry make-up sex has never been hotter.
We'd spent a few weeks gradually crossing from France to Italy, and in that time, we learned so much about each other. The bond between us felt natural and unbreakable. The rugged beauty of the islands and the hot summer matched the intensity of new emotions I had for Evan, and on dark days in Leeds, I wish we were back there.
Evan & Ness are back from their two month European summer vacation and things are better than ever before, but being back in Leeds has them both nervous about how long it will last now that they've returned to the real world. Ness has started up at the University as a Med student and quickly realizes how much work is ahead off her. Overwhelmed, she throws herself into her studies which drastically cuts back on her Evan time. She still has trouble connecting to people but does manage to make friends with some fellow Med students, the fact that most of them happen to be male causes Evan's jealousy to flare to life like never before.
Why do I think this stuff? Ness loves me. I can’t worry about this. I think the mother shit has dredged up the whole insecurity head-fuck again.
He feels like he's slowly being pushed out of Ness's life by her inability to open up to him and he doesn't quite fit into her new world or circle of friends. He also has Lucy to contend with, against his wishes she is on a mission to find the mother who abandoned them at five years old.
To me, our mother did die. Because she killed a part of me – the part which trusts when people tell you they love you, and allows you to trust that person with your heart. This woman tore out my heart, and what I have with Ness is stitching together the wound. Now, Lucy’s sliced open my chest and handed the knife back to this woman Lucy says is our mother.
Evan wants nothing to do with the woman behind his abandonment issues but she is forced into his life because of Lucy, he's worried about how this will affect Lucy's mental stability. Evan doesn't want to tell Ness that Lucy has found their mother, he's fallen back into his habit of trying to keep his past and present lives completely separate. Evan knows him & Ness are drifting further and further apart, he knows a lot of it has to do with Lucy's strong hold on him, he doesn't know what to do about it.
“I need your help.” Four words. Four fucking words Lucy hits me with. Again.
I don’t know what to do. I can’t fucking think straight. Lucy has taken my calm world and shaken everything up, as if I’m trapped in a snow globe with the storm swirling around. This should not be fucking happening. Can’t be happening. Fucking Lucy, screwing with my life again.
Ness is tired of being pushed aside for Lucy and doesn't know how much more she can take. Neither of them are telling the other about what is going on in their lives and the wider the gap between them gets, the further they push each other away. Insecurities, mistrust, jealousy and loneliness eat at them both until the choice on weather to fight or give up is taken out of their hands.
How ironic Evan walks around thinking he’s the one not good enough, when he’s got me second in line after his sister. Every time Evan runs to Lucy when he doesn't need to, he runs a little further away from me.
How shit do I feel? Look at what I’m doing. Again. Giving myself to the
wrong person because Lucy refuses to let go. When the person who matters is sitting here feeling let down by her asshole boyfriend. The realization is blinding and I hold my head in my hands, trying to process how much I’m fucking things up.
I honestly spent a huge part of the book just wanting to knock their heads together, the biggest thing in their way was themselves~Communication people!! So much could have been avoided if they had just pulled their heads out of their asses and talked. Ness was too quick to judge a situation without having all of the facts first and Evan constantly on the run back to Lancaster and always putting Lucy first didn't help matters. How could two people who love each other so much be so stubborn and blind?! What does it say about me that I loved every angst filled minute of it? Now I'm left wondering if there is gonna be more to this series, as with B1, the ending was sweet and kinda wrapped things up but there are still so many questions and unknowns hanging out there that maybe there could be more? Or is it just my wishful thinking ***fingers crossed*** only Lisa Swallow knows for sure but I am allll over it if she gives us more.
“One thing you can never hide from me, even when you think you’ve buried everything, is how you feel. I see it in your eyes. Every time.”
“What do you see now?” he says quietly.
Evan blinks. “That’s because I’ve fallen in love with you over and over since we met, and there’s never been a single day when I haven’t thought about you. So when I look at you, I can’t hide. My heart won’t let me.”
My eyes fill with tears. “Of course you’ll be able to explain more eloquently than me. Jeez.” I lie back on the pillow.
Evan shifts towards me. “It’s true, Ness. I love you. I’ve quoted you poetry plenty of times, but the love I read about in books didn’t make sense until I met you. I’ve found someone who gave the word definition.”
“I can’t imagine life without you,” I whisper, telling him and myself what I’ve known for weeks. “I love you.”
Title: Because of Lucy
by: Lisa Swallow
Series: Butterfly Days #1
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
*Recommended 17+ due to strong language and sexual content*
Ness's parents are shocked when she turns down her place at Leeds University and takes on a full-time job in a call center. Determined to begin her adult life the way she wants, Ness moves to Leeds to live with her best friend Abby.
One night she meets Evan, who is everything she hates about guys. He may be hot but he's also drunken, arrogant, and on top of that, he apparently has sex with girls and forgets about it. But Evan isn't what he seems and Ness soon discovers they have more in common than she thought.
Evan is struggling to escape from his past too, and when Lucy appears she threatens his new relationship with Ness. Unsure if she can deal with the effect Lucy has on Evan, Ness makes a decision about her future which pulls them apart.
When their new lives don't go as planned, Ness and Evan are both faced with difficult choices.
All because of Lucy...
I side step the sink and turn. A guy leans against the doorframe, trying to appear nonchalant but his slackened stance indicates he’s attempting to keep himself upright. His brown hair is longer at the front and spills into his face, and unfocused brown eyes appear to be looking in my direction. He’s one of the regulars. I don’t pay a lot of attention, but he’s a good-looking guy and they never go unnoticed.
“Yes?” I snap. I’m so not in the mood.
His eyes sweep my figure. Unbelievable... I straighten my sleeves and look at him with an eyebrow raised.
“Are you Abby’s housemate?”
“Who are you?”
“Evan.” He rubs his nose. “You’re not a student?”
“Correct, I am the one not lying in a drunken haze on the floor contemplating my navel.”
Evan takes a step forward, steadying himself with one hand as my witty repartee sails over his head. “Why?”
“Why am I not on the floor drunk?”
“Why aren’t you a student?”
“Because I work instead.”
“Hmm.” He pauses and grasps onto the sink, searching for a glass. I pass him the spare one. “Did you fail?”
Evan fills the glass. “Or are you just not smart enough for uni? What is it you do?” He gulps the water in three mouthfuls then wipes his mouth with his hand.
“That’s right, I’m not smart enough. I’m living with Abby until I can find a nice man to marry then I can have 2.4 kids and a house in the suburbs. Because, as I’m not a student, I have no future.”
Evan leans against the sink. “Fair enough.”
Oh my god he believes me. How pissed is he exactly? “So, you think anyone who doesn’t go to university is inferior to you?” I demand.
I’ve seen her friends looking down their noses at me. Inverted snobbery. On top of that, the locals hate students and the students hate locals. I’m neither. I can’t win.
We’re close now and he stinks of alcohol and pot, a faint hint of deodorant lingering on his clothes. Evan’s T-shirt has come untucked and rides up as he leans against the sink. He’s toned, evidently works out. I can’t help myself, I check him out. Beneath his curls he has deep brown eyes. Incoherent eyes. I hate to admit, but something about him is seriously sexy.
Even if he is a dick.
“Well, if you’ll excuse me,” I say.
“You sound like the Queen.”
Not this again. I get enough crap at work. I move from Cheltenham to Yorkshire and suddenly I’m ‘stuck up home counties girl’.
I don’t dignify his comment with an answer and turn away from him, and walk out of the kitchen.
“Want me to get the guy out of your bed?” he calls after me.
I stop and look round. “You know him?”
“I could replace him.”
My mouth drops open at his arrogance. An attempt at a flirtatious smile plays around his lips but the unfocused eyes kill the effect he’s trying to achieve. He’s serious. I imagine he has a ready supply of eager girls. No surprise with a body and looks like his, such a shame he needs a personality transplant.
I step towards him. “Evan. I am not pissed. Nor are you getting into my bed. Good night.”
Feeling happy with my retort, I saunter towards the stairs. Behind me, Evan impersonates my sentence with an exaggerated posh accent.
It’s a good thing that I’m sober otherwise I’d go back there and punch him.
****4 ½ -Butterfly Stars****
~this review contains minor spoilers~
“You like poetry?”
Could she sound anymore incredulous?
“Is that so strange?”
“Umm. Yes. Next you'll be telling me you write poetry too.”
“Nope, too busy corrupting innocent virgins with my sexy fit body.”
This author was new to me so I wasn't quite sure what to expect, I was very pleasantly surprised. I do love me a Brit Author, the dialogue both intrigues and confuses me but I still love it, so there was that, but mostly it was the characters. They will surprise and excite you, frustrate and calm you, they will steal your heart and crush it, even make you drool and giggle a bit.
“It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not.”
“No, probably read it on a Facebook status. But it sounds good, hey?”
“Yeah, sounds good.”
Vanessa has spent her life just trying not to drown in her parents expectations and become her own person, away from Mummy & Daddy's money. In her fight for independence, and against her parents wishes, she withdraws from starting Uni in the spring, moves to Leeds with her best friend Abby and gets a job at a call center while Abby lives of a university student. She hates her job at the 'Battery Farm' and has trouble connecting to anyone there-she feels stuck between two worlds belonging to neither-her co-workers, which mostly consist of parents and spouses, and the Uni students Abby's always bringing home to party. The last thing she needs is the attention of campus player, Evan...
I walk past Abby into the kitchen and mentally kick myself at the way my body has flared into a desire to touch him. So, he stepped in to play knight in shining armor and he's hot but he's still a dick. I poke myself, reminding my stupid hormones this guy has sex with girls and forgets.
Coming to Leeds to attend university is everything Evan hoped it would be-an escape from his past. Most nights are spent so drunk and or stoned that he has no memory of it the next day, even so far as forgetting who he may or may not have had sex with. When he meets the room mate of his best friend's girlfriend, sparks fly and not in a good way. They immediately clash, every conversation becomes an argument and she makes it clear his charms are wasted on her, but that just sparks an interest.
She's not my usual type but there's something about her. A challenge. So, I smile my smile. The one they love.
Vanessa folds her arms over her lovely chest. “I'm not interested.”
I laugh at her, at the fact she doesn't realize she's thrown the gauntlet down between us with those words. “Fair enough.”
Getting her into bed will be a challenge, one he's more than up for, but that's all she can ever be. He's not interested in any kind of a relationship, he just wants to continue on his path of 'stay numb and avoid the past'. The more time Ness spends with Evan, the more he intrigues her. She wants to get to know him, to see behind the wall he has built to keep things hidden away, though she only catches glimpses. Evan doesn't want to let her in, he has to keep his past and present completely separate but the strange thing is, he starts to need her.
Why can't I keep away from her? Doing the love them and leave them thing has never bothered me. Not once. I don't do guilt. The longer I waited for her to get in touch, the more apparent it became she wasn't going to. I'm not used to this situation either-normally girls get on my back if we've gone as far as sex, wanting more from me. Ironically, the first time I want a girl to, she's not bothered.
He's comfortable around Ness, calm and able to forget the demons from his past. Until the phone calls start....Lucy. Lucy is a part of his past he's desperately trying to get away from, but he keeps getting pulled back in. Ness doesn't understand why Evan is so evasive about his life when she's opened up to him, and what's with the constant phone calls that sending him running? Evan doesn't know where to turn, once again his life is being torn in two, all because of Lucy.
Evan may have switched his phone off last night but something pulls him back to it now. Someone...
...I could've torn all her clothes there and then, dragged her straight to bed. Emptied my mind of everything but Ness's body against mine. I should've lived in the present and not the past. Instead, I picked up the past and took it home with me. Lucy needs to stay away; she doesn't belong in my new life.
The mystery of who Lucy is hangs over our heads for quite a while. You're constantly wondering who the hell she is and why does Evan keep running back to her, refusing to explain anything to Ness about it, when clearly Lucy is destroying his new found happiness. There was a lot of frustration, but eventually understanding....kind of. Both Ness & Evan are very stubborn individuals in desperate need of some love. There were some sweet moments, some desperate and sexy ones too. The ending was nice, if not a bit sudden, but certainly left me wanting more.
“Everyone has a reason for waking up in the morning, and you're mine.”
Lisa is an author of new adult romance and writes both paranormal and contemporary, often with a side of snark. In between running a business, looking after her family and writing, Lisa sometimes finds spare time to do other things. This often involves swapping her book worlds for gaming worlds. She even leaves the house occasionally. Lisa loves all things from the Whedonverse and preferred vampires before they sparkled.
Lisa has four books published: the ‘Butterfly Days’ series, and two in her urban fantasy series Soul Ties. She is currently working on a new contemporary romance series Blue Phoenix and the first book, Summer Sky is due for release in April. Lisa is originally from the UK but moved to Australia in 2001 and now lives in Perth in Western Australia with her husband, three children and dog.